Written by Christopher J. Herman
Willimantic, Conn: -- Members of the Social Work Club at Eastern Connecticut State
University are hosting, "Dating Without Hating: Taking a Stand Against Dating Violence," a series of workshops on April 9-10 designed to raise public awareness on dating violence, as well as policies and services available to protect students from dating violence. The initiative, supervised by Sociology Professor Thomas Broffman, aims to reach victims and also provide friends of victims and batterers with tools of intervention when they see red flags for dating violence.
The initiative, with support from Eastern's Women's Center, hopes to engage student clubs and raise public awareness in activities taking place in residence halls and sporting events. In addition to teaching Eastern students what constitutes dating violence, the group's specific objectives include teaching the warning signs of dating violence; teaching bystanders what to do to help a victim; and because the group believes dating violence can only be ended if both men and women work together, encouraging men to attend the workshops.
The initiative cites the dating violence tragedy that occurred when Yeardley Love, a 22-year-old, fun-loving and ambitious lacrosse player for the University of Virginia was brutally murdered by her ex-boyfriend.
On April 9, from 10:30 a.m. to noon, an information table with educational literature will be set up in the Student Center. A trivia game featuring multiple choice questions on dating violence statistics and healthy versus unhealthy relationships will enable students of directly engage in a discussion on dating violence.
On April 10 at 3 p.m., Duane de Four, public speaker, educator and blogger from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology will discuss healthy relationships, dating violence and bystander intervention during University Hour in the Betty R. Tipton room.
Also on April 10, from 5- 6 p.m. de Four will lead a session on dating violence for male students only. From 7 to 8 p.m., de Four will lead a third and final session, "Standing up for Love," providing his perspective on the tragic Yeardley Love incident.
Research indicates dating that violence occurs in one out of five college dating relationships; 58 percent of students do not know how to help a friend who is a victim to partner violence; 40 percent of victims are under age 18, while 80 percent of victims are under 30 years of age; individuals between the ages of 20 and 24 are the most at-risk population for partner violence; 440 men were killed due to a violent relationship in 2000; in 2010, 1,017 women were killed by their intimate partner in the United States; and last year, nearly 2,400 women and children stayed in Connecticut domestic violence shelters because they were in serious physical danger.